Monday, April 09, 2012

Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

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The Calling
Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising, #2
Release date: April 10th, 2012
by Doubleday Canada (US: HarperCollins)

Goodreads / Purchase

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is–a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

 *A copy was provided by Random House Canada for review purposes*

Kelley has been one of my first well-loved and favorite authors since I discovered her Women of the Otherworld series. Since then, her Darkest Powers Trilogy has also been added to my favorites, and even though I don’t love this trilogy quite as much, it’s still filled with the Kelley awesomeness that I live for! The Calling, the second installment in the Darkness Rising trilogy, continues immediately where we left off; it starts at a full speed that does not ease up until the end, where we’re left with a lot of anxiety, and a promise of an exciting finale.

The Calling is a full length high speed chase. In the wilderness, Maya and her friends are desperate to go home, or at the very least, to survive. It’s an adrenaline filled sequel with a lot of speculating and great character building, although not an incredible amount of plot development. This is not altogether a bad thing, though, as I feel we did get a lot of important discoveries that brings the characters up to par for an epic showdown in the third and final book. As in The Gathering, the last part of the story is where we get the brunt of the plot’s advancement, which leaves us with with an ending that is filled with uncertainty, in addition to having us wildly theorizing what’s to come.

What I love the most about Kelley’s books is that they’re all interconnected. Being a sister series to Darkest Powers, there is mention of our well beloved characters from the latter, as well as it having essentially the same conspiracies that came to affect their bizarre lives. With Kelley’s ability to craft real, in depth characters, it always gives me a sense of nostalgia knowing the people I previously grew to love and adore in her books are still around while this is all happening. In The Calling, we not only know these people are out there, but we get a glimpse at how they’re all going to come together. This makes me incredibly enthusiastic for the final book of the series. I think it’s going to be all kinds of awesome!

If you’re new to this series, I highly recommend you start it already! Especially if you enjoyed Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers Trilogy. As usual, you can expect to be entertained to your full potential with this newest installment.  

4 Hot Espressos
 Darkness Rising series so far:
 Want to know what I thought of The Gathering?
Click here for my review!

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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31 Responses to “Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. Christina

    Oooh, is there more interconnection in this one? I only recognized the evil guy in the last one. I was disappointed because I wanted to see the MCs. Good to know! Can’t wait til this one comes to me through the library!

  2. Sam

    I love the Darkest Powers trilogy and enjoyed The Gathering so I’m definitely looking forward to reading this book. I would love to try some of her adult books too. Nice review, Giselle! 🙂

  3. Giselle

    @Christina: We don’t actually see any characters in this one, but there is talk of them and a pretty good certainty we will see them in the 3rd book! Which will be really awesome!

    @Sam: Ooh you have to try her adult series it’s all kinds of awesome!

  4. Aylee

    I have the Darkest Powers series on my shelf but haven’t read it yet! I really should find time though… hearing you speak so highly of Kelley and her books may be all the encouragement I need 🙂

  5. Rebecca

    I am so excited about this book! I read your review with a big ‘ol smile on my face!!! Loved the Darkest Powers trilogy, and The Gathering was awesome. Thanks for this review:)Totally going to get this one tomorrow.

  6. Amy

    I have not read The Gathering. It’s been on my TBR list for a while though lol. Like so many other books. *sigh* I have heard that this series is great. If you liked it than I am sure to like it since we tend to like the same books. Great review chick!!

  7. April (BooksandWine)

    I enjoyed Darkest Powers AND The Gathering.

    So, really my biggest takeaway from your review is that I need to read The Otherworld series, because let’s face it, Kelley Armstrong is legit awesome.

    Yay for making me even MORE pumped for The Calling. I did not think that was possible!

  8. Jac

    This series sounds interesting! (Really? I need to quit reading your blog LOL! Too many good reviews, and I’m not going to have ANY time at all if I read all the books I keep finding here 😉

    I’d heard good things about The Gathering, and so I’m glad this one is as good, if not better!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  9. Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)

    Ah! I have the first book on my list to read because I got the calling from Harper, and I haven’t even touched it. I am hearing lot’s of great things about this series. I think I need to my little butt up and start reading them lol.

    Thank you for the review!

  10. Danny

    I admit I never read her Darkes Power series… I tried many time but just couldn’t get into this story. But. I loooved The Gathering!
    However, as you mention now that there are characters appearing from her previous series I might need to read them after all! Can’t wait to read The Calling! Woot!

  11. Mimi Valentine

    Yay, I’m so happy that you loved this one, Giselle! I absolutely LOVED Kelley’s Darkest Powers series, but I have to admit that The Gathering didn’t have the same blow-you-away factor for me so I wasn’t so sure about picking this one up. But now I really want to! I love how you describe it as a “full length high speed chase” because the slow pacing was my biggest beef with the first book! 🙂

    Amazing & convincing review, Giselle! 🙂 I’m even more excited to read this than ever before! <3

  12. Jen

    After recently reading The Summoning, I’m dying to try more by her! Sounds like she rarely, if ever disappoints! Great review!

  13. Vegan YA Nerds

    I know Kelley’s name but I have’t read anything by her, yet! I love when authors use characters from previous series in new books, it’s fun as a reader

  14. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)

    You know, I have never read Kelley Armstrong, even tough I’ve heard all good things! I actually got a surprise review copy of this one last week and from your review it sounds like I should pick up a copy of the first book too and get started on this series!!

  15. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Okay, I’m picking this one up. I really liked The Gathering and am a HUGE fangirl of Kelley Armstrong. It’s good to hear that this one is fast-paced! Plus, I love how she connects the books, too.

  16. Giselle

    Oh my god! Those who haven’t read any Kelley Armstrong you don’t know what you’re missing!! She’s so awesome!

    @Danny: Oh wow you loved the Gathering but not her Darkest Powers? I found them very similar in style but I guess both plots are pretty different. But if you loved the Gathering I’m sure you’ll enjoy this sequel! 🙂 If you do read her other series, there are mentions of those characters in this series. And the “bad guys” are the same in both as well. It’s pretty neat!

    Thanks lovelies!

  17. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    I adore Armstrong’s work. Great review! I hope the third book has a more action filled plot. I love character’s growing into stronger people, but i need drama for a book to be a must read. I definitely will try this book because i was amazed by the darkest power series!

  18. Giselle

    @Rachel : Actually there is quite a bit of action in this one, it’s just the plot itself that doesn’t advance much. Like WHY are they chasing these kids? What’s the big conspiracy? What do they want? etc that is not looked into. But the whole book is a chase so there’s action for sure. 🙂

  19. Reve @ YA Books

    Totally still need to read The Gathering! Your review of The Calling is prompting me and pushing me hard to want to read the series, though XD. Great review, Giselle!

  20. Elodie

    So glad you liked this one Giselle 🙂 !! I loved The Darkest Powers trilogy and for some reason I still haven’t picked up a copy of The Gathering .. I definitely NEED to because the series sounds amazing !